The Gülen Youth Platform is a signature event of the Gulen Institute of Houston, Texas. It is an international essay contest that aims to involve the world’s youth in proposing solutions to our global problems. The Platform is chaired by Dr. Thomas Gage from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. Each year, a topic relating to one of the most pressing problems of the time is selected for students to compete by composing essays in English.
In recognition of the best writing, as ranked by a panel of judges that includes university professors, thirty high school students, with chaperones, are invited to participate in the Youth Platform’s annual event in Washington D.C. In addition to an awards ceremony, the winners tour the Capitol, visit famous sites in the city, and attend a writing workshop at one of the universities of the District of Columbia.
The program culminates in an awards ceremony, in which the student’s governmental authority presents recognition for his or her exceptional writing. Three outstanding essays are delivered before the assembly. One winner receives a one-time scholarship that can amount to $4000 and all, with selected teachers, are presented money and certificates of merit.
Since 2010, Congresspersons and Senator from the authors’ districts in the States of the U.S. and many Ambassadors or representatives from nations greet these scholars in Congress’ Rayburn Building. Winners of the Youth Platform have come from the following states: Texas, Florida, New Jersey, California, Kansas, Oregon, Nevada, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Other winners have come from the following nations: Singapore, Mexico, Russia, New Zealand, England, The Netherlands, England, Bolivia, France, Nigeria, Spain, Tanzania, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea, India, Nepal, Bosnia-Hertzegovina, Bangladesh, Romania, Turkey, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Canada, Afghanistan, Qatar, Italy, Trinidad-Tobago, and Burkina Faso.